99% of New South Wales has been declared drought affected. I would like to know where the unaffected 1% is. Is there a snobby little cloud that chooses to rain exclusively upon this 1%? And beneath that cloud, is there a bunch of people in a big swimming pool, surrounded by lush green gardens and fountains, laughing it up while the rest of the state dries up?

Out in the sticks last weekend, the sheep looked like shrivelled prunes on legs. Just bones and rumpled wool wandering around the bare paddocks. The heat was unbearably dry, the kind that fires up your skin like a hotplate; you keep waiting for it to just crack and fall off.

Meanwhile, I see Mr and Mrs Joe Fuckwit wasting water out in the suburbs. Drowning the geraniums in the middle of the afternoon, plonking soaker hoses down on the turf. I drive past and wind down my window to boo and hiss. I want to string them up in the trees and smack them with a spiky sprinkler head until they see sense.

We had a huge dust storm here in Canberra a couple of weeks ago. All the precious public servant 4WD’s were speckled red, the queues at the car wash stretched out onto the street. A friend of mine saw his neighbour standing on her roof in the middle of the day, hosing the dust off the Colourbond! Why the hell do you think we had a dust storm in the first place?

In the drought of 1983, our water tank ran dry. I discovered it was possible to bathe, water a flock of sheep and do three loads of laundry on just one thimble full of water. Ever since then, I go bezerk at the sight of a dripping tap or a midday sprinkler. I know it’s easy to forget in urban areas that cows are roasting alive and the earth is cracking up out in the country. But come on people, as the Mothership would say, “Use your brain!”

About Shauna Reid

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35 thoughts on “Dry

  1. It’s very fucking dry down here in melbourne too. Bracksy has just thrown on the water restrictions, and the hills will burn again this year.

  2. here here shauny

    yes, it’s dry in melbourne- and drier in geelong, [the smaller, second fiddle to melbourne in victoria, for those not in the know] where we have been fluctuating between stage one and two restrictions for years now. however now that melbourne have pulled their head in, geelong is GIVING melbourne water.

    the mayor should get off her knees.

  3. A is for Agua. Waste not want not. Baby, can you drive my Welsh? And what’s this about mayors on their knees? Is it the bee that draws her there? And, more importantly, does she have a nice ass?

    Poor wounded insect, the subject of a symphonic ode. The Fuckwits, I would imagine, are set to be transformed overnight into deities meant to reenact passages from the Book of Revelations.

    Beer. How many brands taste like bat’s piss? Not the Canberran beer surely. But here in the States, many a poorass teenager collect nickels to ensure an inebriated Friday night, on the run from the fuzz, never a bottle of Evian to replace the early alcoholic haze.

    One thing remains certain: If I ever meet Slack Jaw in person, I will kiss that baby on the lips. There has been too much war here. Let there be love. Slack Jaw will be the first.

  4. I just don’t get people who water during the day. It doesn’t work very well anyway, even if there’s no shortage. Evening is the way to go, or very early morning in humid areas.

    Maybe 1% of the land area of NSW is lakes/shrivelled rivers anyway?

  5. people are stupid, that’s why they water in the middle of the day.

    we don’t have water restrictions in albury yet, and i don’t see why not. as soon as they do come in, it gives me an excuse to knock on the doors of houses who have useless sprinklers on it the middle of the day and abuse them. idiots.

  6. Yes, by all means, water smelly ugly flowers while cattle WHICH YOU GERANIUM-GROWING FUCKWITS EAT waste away to nothing because of lack of the H2O. Ooo I could just … but I won’t. Done enough of that already.

  7. Yeah, that’s how I felt flying over Scottsdale AZ, looking out over the Sonoran desert, all arid stubbly hills, rock and prickly cactus, except for these absurd, totally incongruous expanses of lush, green GOLFCOURSE!

    Who needs water to grow food? There’s golf to be played, man!

  8. I have my heavy duty scissors at the ready to do a midnight snip on anyone’s hose which feeds water inappropriately during these water restrictions. I’ve done it once, and I’ll do it again. And not cut the hose in half, I mean hundreds of one inch pieces, all neatly laid out to spell ‘fuckwit’.

    I’ll also endevour (where possible) to shower with a friend. Female and good looking preferably.

  9. i reckon showering with a friend is definitely the go!

    and here here, shauny. yes, i must concur with your hatred of the idiots who water in the middle of the day or water their paths (or rooves?!!!) in lieu of a broom. mental!

    yesterday the sky had an ominous heavy orange glean that just spelt bushfire. no good.

  10. I know where the 1% is, its in the snowy mountains. I suppose there is a lot of moisture from the melting snow.
    Interestingly, towards the end of the winter, the snowfields took on a bizarre glo-orange shade. I found out later it was the remnants of a huge dust storm which blew in and coated the snow then got covered next snowfall. looked sooo weird as it emerged during the spring.
    but its good somewhere has a little bit of water

  11. Ed, what do you? Just out of curiosity. And as always, it’s a pleasure reading y’all’s stuff. And if ya want water, take some of ours, we’ve been getting some monster storms up this way (eastern US). You know…one could make a lot of money with a Trans-Continental Waterline (sorta like the Alaskan Oil Pipeline, except with water and maybe cross from Asia over to Australia or something =P )…Just a thought! Have fun!

  12. I work in a building that is surrounded by a coucil garden. Every day we see gardeners in there (and they always remind me of Row!! hehe) planting stuff, and sweeping and mowing the lawn so it looks like a golf green. But the other day there was just one guy standing around HOSING THE FRIGGING PAVEMENT! And there is a hell of a lot of pavement in this particular garden. I had to restrain myself from kicking his feet from under him. Brisbane doesn’t have water restrictions… yet… but the Gold Coast does. That huge amount of water he was using to make the pavement look pretty could have been used as drinking water down at the GC or could have bathed 50 babies etc etc. If I see him doing it again I will kick his feet out from under him… or at the very least give him a very dirty look 🙂

  13. A wet T-shirt contest minus the water? Something about applying a leaf blower to nipples strikes me as a bad idea. Particularly on a cold day.

    Svarit: I’m a professional idiot. Yanks may be stingy with their government, but you’d be surprised at the kind of money the MacArthur Foundation hands out to freaks like me.

  14. At least it’s a proper drought, not like the sort we have here.

    Well, we did have a proper drought in 1995. Most unusually for Britain, it didn’t rain for a few months! We even had some of that cracking earth effect, and while you have mighty bushfires, we had lots of small grass fires. (Rather fits with how we have lots of tornadoes, but only little ones that don’t do much. And how Britain is actually an area of moderate seismic activity, but our earthquakes are so small most of the time that they generally go unnoticed, or are misinterpreted as passing lorries.)

    Our green and allegedly pleasant land turned brown and arid (I really liked it being brown and arid for a change), and people were predicting that it would take years for all the grass, trees, shrubberies, and so on, to recover.

    Then it rained, and things returned to being green quite quickly.

    And it rained some more.

    There were even downpours.

    But, according to the water companies, the drought wasn’t over even after flooding! They said it was the wrong sort of rain.

  15. Listen, if anyone’s kissing anyone around here, they’ll have to kiss ME first. It’s a highly pleasant experience, I promise.

  16. nooo. MY blog, MY kiss.

    who’s kissing anyway? i think i should go read what you’ve all been going on about… i can’t keep up.

  17. Talk about not being able to keep up, I read a thing recently about people who can’t, you know, be all vigorous and stuff. I think I could possibly be more cryptic and obnoxious, but I don’t want to.

  18. maybe all the hungry sheep could be let loose on all those green golf courses. Or all the lawns on the leafy north shore- each one could adopt an animal until the drought is over.
    I also love erading eds stuff what is the mcarthur foundation on earth I wonder?

  19. I had no idea there were this many people in need of a kiss! I have been told I have thin lips, but there not chapped and are cold sore free.

    Please take any of these you like.


  20. Alright, in the interests of becoming one of Shauny’s bitches (even though I’ve got the bandwidth to flaunt like a drunken peacock being unleashed from the wagon — I dare you to mix a metaphor like that! I dare ya!), I hereby declare lips to be reclaimed first by Shauny. The lips have been waxed for excess hair. They are the finest pair of head-situated labia since Mick Jagger: thin, without the porcelain-crushing impact. While they are bleeding, because I decided to follow through on Slack’s request, rest assured that there is no hair. The alcohol I applied to my two lips (without the benefit of flowers) caused me to scream loudly for several days. Fortunately, despite the pain, the scabs have cleared up. And an Avon Certified Lip Expert has confirmed my current 100% American Not As Big As Mick’s And Shaved Close Lips, ready to be handed over as a deposit to Shauny the Lip-Locked Landlord.

    After Shauny, then we go to Slack. One of his Xs has been plucked like a tulip. That’s democracy in action.

    And then the glorious MB, with which I shall demonstrate the mouth’s uncanny ability to set a dip switch. And then, of course, dodging the potential wrath of Mr. Husband (or getting this newly avocated spouse to sign a letter of provenance), SJ is next in line.

    And I realize that in creating a laundry list like this, I’m sounding not unlike the Sugar Hill Gang rapping in “Gangster’s Delight” (“My lips are here, and they’re the shortest of the bunch.”). But that’s okay. There’s enough love in this thread to go all around, baby. And it ain’t even Valentine’s Day. Intercontinental smooching, coiled and congealed, connected through the majestic metastatized madness of the Internet. Or to paraphrase Rowdy Roddy Piper from “They Live,” “Ain’t love grand?”

    If only I had Illustrator right now, I would gladly create a flowchart that cleared this matter up, more complicated than a railway timetable!

  21. Shauny, you should put some bleach on the geraniums. They won’t have to water them anymore if the geraniums are dead.

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